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|Hypomating is looking at two parents' gene cross to determine what your future foal(s) could look like genetically speaking. Not every stud and/or mare will always match perfectly with each other and that is where Hypomating comes in. Finding a 'perfect' hypomate is somewhat rare and should not always be aimed for. Why? Because then you are coveting how pretty genes will look on the foal over quality. The foal could turn out to be genetically pretty with a Genetic Merit (GM) but may end up an Allowance racer. Genes are nice, but they aren’t worth much if the foal can’t compete well with other horses. Producer quality is more important than genes when breeding for racing quality in your foals and lines. Let's look at key factors when deciding what matches to go for.|
|Conformation determines the initial INJURY RISK of a horse, though it is not a guarantee one way or the other. This also affects your horse's maximum potential. Excellent and Outstanding conformation will give potential a boost while Fair and Poor will lower it. A Good conformation gene will not affect potential.||Development|
|A horse with higher development will physically mature faster, making it safer to race them at a young age. A horse with bad development will take a lot longer to fully mature and contribute to negative anomalies.||Health|
|Horses with higher health can handle more races while horses with lower health will handle less. Health corresponds directly to the longevity number on your horse's page. Lower health will lead to negative anomalies and/or higher stillborn chances.||Intelligence|
|This influences how fast a horse gains stats through training and influences how well the horse travels.||Temperament|
|This influences consistency. Horses who have a better temperament will be more consistent in races, while horses with poor attitudes will tend to have a lot of ups and downs. This gene also impacts how easily horses saddle train.|
|Genotype Search is a fantastic tool to use to find stallions for your mare(s). You can go to »Genosearch« found under »Breeding«. The very top of genosearch gives you the option to search for Retired, or All; select Retired to pull up all current retired (non-racing) stallions. You can search for specific breeds using the drop-down tab. If you are new to breeding it is suggested you look for stallions that already have »SIP (Stallion Incentive Program)«. Selecting a stallion that is minimally Bronze will result in a listing of stallions that have at least made Bronze SIP or higher.
It is also recommended that you select awards under Points: Performance Merit as the minimum. Why? Because stallions who have at least a Performance Merit (PM) will impact their foals potential positively. A stallion who has less than 100 points is not as desirable as one who does because of the potential bonus.
Next match your mare's distance to the genosearch input. So if she is a sprinter you want to put Excellent or Outstanding sprint gene in the box as matching distances is very important. Matching a sprinting mare to a routing stallion will have a high chance (depending upon gene alleles) of a intermediate distance foal which impacts potential. The same goes for matching routing mares. Intermediate distance foals are undesirable and can be avoided if matched correctly. Matching surface genes is something you should also strive to do for the best possible foals.
The biggest impactful genes are Conformation, Health, and Heritage, so make sure those are always matched to improve your mare. If you can see Peak/Prime it is important to think about these genes as well.
|Genotype Search can also be used to find mares for your Stallions from within your own barn that are both retired and in training. To do this, much like with matching a mare you can go to »Genosearch« found under »Breeding«. The very top of genosearch gives you the option to search for Retired, or All; in this case you’ll want to select All. You’ll be able to see mares that are both In Training and Retiring, so you can see if you have mares on the track that can support your stallion in the future. You can search for specific breeds using the drop-down tab, and you should select genes that your stallion can compliment or can be improved on for the next generation.
Like Stallions, Mares also get a boost for earning at least 50 points and Performance Merits or higher, so including those in your search would help maximize the boosts for possible offspring.
Just like the mare matching above, the next thing you’ll want to focus on will be Distances and Surfaces. And of course the most impactful genes to look will be Conformation, Health, and Heritage.
|Basic Gene Crossing|
|Every gene is considered important and should be evaluated when hypomating the stallion and mare. A Good x Good cross can still result in a Poor. You usually want to pair a Fair/Good to an Excellent or higher in whatever your mare is lacking. Example: Your mare is Fair in conformation you want to find a stud that is Excellent or Outstanding so the foal has the best chance of improving that gene.
Rarely you may have to sacrifice genes in some areas in order for your mare to get covered for the season as some stallions with high genes are usually sought after and books fill fast. Keep in mind not all high gened stallions are worth breeding to. There are some lower gened stallions standing that produce good offspring.
|Tips to Remember|
If you are breeding Standardbreds or Stock, it is considered acceptable to make certain matches genetically that aren’t acceptable in TBs or GBs, due to the smaller gene pool in these breeds. This applies more to Standardbreds currently since stock can find matches in TBs, however it is okay if the matches in these breeds aren’t what would be considered perfect (or even good) in TBs or GBs. Just keep in mind that some stud owners have different criteria when accepting matches, and so expect matches to meet said different criteria. |
In addition, a few key things to remember are listed below.
• Pedigree/Producing Quality is always more important than genes
• Distance aptitude genes (Speed/Stamina) are very important
• If a mare is really bad, look to improve Conformation and Health first
• Negative Anomalies may be caused by bad Health and Development genes as well as low stallion condition, high pregnancy risk, and IxV bloodline crosses
• Good x Good cross can still result in a Poor
• In a perfect situation, match every F/P Performance and Stat gene with E or higher
• Never cross I x V bloodlines
• Never cross two horses that both have a Silver (ZZ/Zz) gene
• Never cross two horses that both have a Champagne (CH/Ch) gene
With the addition of new breeds here is a helpful chart to show you the breakdown of breed crosses. Crossbreeding can restrict the offspring from certain races, but otherwise will not currently affect the foals in any other way. Plus, crossbred foals can participate in those restricted races through several methods, which includes purifying them, earning the required amount of points in races, or nothing if they’re gelded (geldings are eligible even if they’re appendix in some form). The only breeds that are unable to be cross-bred are Standardbreds and Goldbloods.
|Cross Breeding Chart|